Big Bet is a bust in the bid to allow sports gambling in California

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The most expensive ballot proposal in U.S. history failed Tuesday as California voters rejected sports betting initiatives by Native tribes and the gaming industry.

About $600 million has been raised in a competitive effort to expand gambling and try to capture a share of the potential billion-dollar market in the nation’s most populous state.

But the voters did not want any part of this action.

Counting more than 4.6 million votes, the measure is largely supported by gaming companies, which would allow adults to bet on mobile devices and online, with only 16% backing. A proposal that would have legalized sports gambling at tribal casinos and horse tracks had less than 30% support.

The amount collected and spent more than doubled record amount spent in 2020 by Uber, Lyft and other trucking and delivery services based on the program to avoid drivers from workers who are eligible for benefits and job protections.

More than 30 other states allow sports bettingBut gambling in California is currently limited to Native American casinos, horse tracks, card rooms and the state lottery.

The competition marked A advertising explosion that the supporters of the interests of each claimed measure come with approval. Each was opposed by vigorous campaigns warning of the dangers they posed.

Tribes opposing Proposition 27, the mobile and online gambling measure, said voters didn’t want a massive expansion of gambling, they thought it would be easier to become addicted and they feared children would bet on the devices.

“Our internal message has been clear and consistent for years: California voters do not support online sports betting,” said Anthony Roberts, tribal chairman of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. “Voters have real and important concerns about turning every cell phone, laptop and tablet into a gaming device, addiction and impact on children.”

Opponents of Proposition 26, which would have allowed casinos and the state’s four horses to offer in-person sports betting, said voters didn’t want to enrich wealthy tribes that would gain a virtual monopoly on gambling and also be able to offer roulette and dice games. . in your game action.

“Prop. 26 was not just a sports betting measure, but a massive expansion of gambling by the five wealthy tribes, a poison pill designed to take market share away from highly regulated bookmakers, costing millions of dollars in tax revenue to communities and tens of thousands. provides jobs. “The No Campaign on Proposition 26 said in a statement.

This group was mainly financed by the card houses, which would lose the most if the measure passed. They said the so-called “poison pill” would allow tribes to sue competitors such as card houses.

Supporters of each measure did not return messages seeking comment.

The casino and tournament event was funded by a coalition of tribes that said the 10 percent tax would help with gambling enforcement and programs to help gambling addicts.

The online sports betting initiative has been supported by DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel – the latest official odds provider of the Associated Press – as well as other national sports betting operators and several tribes.

They promised to divert tax revenues to help the homeless, the mentally ill, and poor tribes not made rich by casinos.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found that both initiatives would increase state revenue, but by how much is unclear. Proposition 26 could bring in tens of millions of dollars, while Proposition 27 could bring in hundreds of millions, the office said.

However, this income can be offset if people spend the money on sports games instead of shopping or buying lottery tickets.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who won the election handily, did not take a position on either proposal, but said Proposition 27 was “not a homeless initiative.”

The California Republican Party opposed both proposals. State Democrats opposed Proposition 27 but remained neutral on Proposition 26. Major League Baseball supported Proposition 27.

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